About
Telehealth Pilot Program

 

While telehealth will never replace the importance of the in-person patient-provider relationship, particularly with children, widespread adoption among SBHCs can overcome many current barriers to access, including:

  • Lack of transportation, particularly in rural areas.

  • School closures: providing access during school vacations, holidays and emergencies (such as the pandemic). 

  • Cost: Telehealth creates efficiencies in space and time by allowing providers to increase productivity and to cover multiple sites.  It can also be used to expand access to specialty care.

  • Surges in demand. Greater productivity and flexibility can address surges in demand without long waits for care. 

 

A recent survey sample, representing nearly half of the SHBC sites in the State, indicates that telehealth adoption prior to the Coronavirus emergency was low (24% of all sites).  Adoption shot up to 77% of all sites as a result of the emergency, driven by patient needs, waivers of CMS HIPAA requirements and increased reimbursement.  Adoption was hasty and uneven, frequently relying on telephones.  Following the crisis, providers will need to upgrade their telehealth platforms to include HIPAA-compliant, reimbursable services.

 

Among SBHCs using telehealth, the survey showed the services most commonly provided to be:

  • Behavioral health: at 100% of sites using telehealth;

  • Primary medical care: at 75% of sites using telehealth;

  • Oral Health: at 26%  of sites using telehealth.

 

The survey also found over half of the SBHC sites now seek to expand telehealth capacity by adding providers, additional sites and/or a broader scope of service, resources permitting. 

 

The Foundation has launched a state-wide initiative to facilitate the expanded use of compliant and reimbursable telehealth for three services: primary and preventive, behavioral and oral healthcare.  This initiative will provide the expertise and resources to help participants:

  • Select and acquire the most appropriate hardware and software;

  • Determine the workflow necessary for effective implementation; and 

  • Train staff in the above.

 

This pilot provides small start-up stipends to overcome initial financial barriers to SBHC telehealth expansion and upgrade.  Because services are expected to be reimbursable with implementation of appropriate telehealth platforms, this capacity expansion will be sustainable.

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Webinars

Our Team

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Webinar #1:
How Engaging Are You?

A Guide to Promoting Student Participation in Virtual Care. 

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Webinar #2:
Let's Talk About Workflow!

Optimizing Provider and Student Experience in Virtual Care 

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Webinar #3:
Telehealth Technology Post-COVID

It's More Than Just a Smartphone